Building your Independent Business – What do I do first? by Matthew Hill

Strategic Approach vs. Quick and Dirty?

Having just returned from the SIETAR Switzerland congress in Lugarno where I was surrounded by enthusiastic independents, many of who were busily growing their own businesses, one question struck me as most important – What do I do first?

Building tool repair equipments

To build up a complete marketing funnel with experienced based assets takes time. It can be a multi-year project that will require dedication, thought and plenty of external energy and opportunity.

As I have said many times – This build centres on 4 products – 1) The Professional Interrupter – an attention grabbing and valuable asset that is strong enough to stop a busy and successful decision maker for long enough for them to take notice of you. 2) The Product 4 Prospect Asset – An exchangeable item that promises the delivery of value to a cold contact in return for their Opt In – you give them some knowledge and value and they give you their first name, last name, E Mail and permission to contact them. Simple. 3) The Trip Wire – Another small and valuable package that represents a bargain for the price. What could you build and sell for €20? It must represent more value than the perceived cost would indicate, so that you can convert cynical and critical outsiders to become insider tribe members who can warm to your intelligence and experience. 4) Your Core Deliverable Product – The thing you are most passionate about, sold to the insider tribe member, who is ready to appreciate what you have crafted. They KNOW it represents value and, so, will happily pay a premium to receive it.

Building a Crowd.

There are many contact points required and much interaction to build a warm and loyal crowd who will come to know you, like you and trust you to a level where they will confess their flaws, weakness or gaps and ALLOW you to help them. The key here is your reputation – Something that is built in THEIR hearts, stomachs, minds and memories. Remember – they own your Brand. That is where it lives – with your audience, your list, your database, and, in your new family of followers.

Quick and Dirty

Having said all of that (in 350 words) there will be irresistible opportunities that pop up and come your way, out of the blue, and that can generate great commercial returns.

Here it is about scrambling all of your resources together quickly to construct a credible offer and take advantage of this one time gift.

80% is good enough.

Is it time to fight the perfectionist in you and get that outline out quickly? Are you prepared to fill in the gaps later? And. Will your expedience pay off?

What should I do first?

So, we come to a hybrid approach – Keep on track with your long strategic game of building high quality and long lasting assets AND go for it when the sun shines just for a moment. Ironically, it can be those one-time deals that help build your credibility in the longer term and, reacting quickly to lightning chances can really help you to build your resilience, agility and intelligence when it comes to marketing and closing deals later on, when your company is fully formed and ready to take on all comers.

About the Author Matthew Hill is a trainer, author and coach helping new independent trainers and coaches to get more business in through the door. He is running a Going for Growth bootcamp for independent trainers in Lisbon, 28th to 30th June 2018. Details at culture99.wordpress.com.

Blick auf Altstadt und Castelo de So Jorge, Lissabon / Portugal

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Trainer Resources – 4 Actions To Help You Avoid A Training Day from Hell – Protecting Yourself In The Classroom – by Matthew Hill

How can you prevent horrible feedback, crazy conflict and difficult delegate behaviour?

We have all been there. It starts with a funny feeling in your stomach and then a look or comment from one of the alphas in the room. What is happening? you ask. Am I loosing the room? Lunch is tense and then, there comes an excuse why a few people don’t give in their paper feedback forms at the end of the day. You leave feeling that you put in plenty of effort but that, somewhere along the way, you and the room parted company and were travelling along different roads.

Group Of Businesspeople Gossiping

Horrible Feedback is Horrible

The next day you receive a troubled E Mail from your L&D contact within the company or the provider who supplied you with the subcontract day. And it is all bad news from then on in.

There follows a list of your “crimes” and how negative and upset the room were. Etc. etc. etc.

STOP

It does not have to end like this. Let us make the classroom safe for you again with 4 simple actions…

  1. Rules of Engagement

I always offer up an agreement at the beginning of a training day, coaching or even a speaking engagement. It shows professionalism and represents a light negotiation with the audience where they have a chance to shape the experience they expect and sign up to some rules emotionally. Ultimately, they will get more from you and your session.

My favourite one is, “Be Teachable”. It sounds simple and is profound. Do they think they know this stuff already? Will they have strong opinions about your content? Have they been brainwashed with stereotypes and are poised to attack?

By asking them to take a fresh look and let the material in, you are setting up a space that will allow for maximum exchange with minimum conflict. (Civilised challenge is allowed and even encouraged – Not disruptive conflict.)

And, when we add, “Respect Each Other”, you are sending a deep message about honour and civilised behaviour that will sink into the unconscious minds of the tricky participants and so protect yourself by raising THEIR self- awareness.

  1. Facilitate more than Tell

In these modern times, spraying theory at bored pupils will no longer be accepted. The room now want their share of the microphone and to tell their story.

Interrupt less, correct less and listen more.

Listen at a deeper level and add constructive input at the end. No more death by detail, 75 word slides and learning by rote. Now we are flipping the classroom with interactive exercises and intelligent debriefing. The less you say the more the class will enjoy your session.

  1. Less Essentialist and More Co – Constructed.

I still meet Interculturalists who can’t wait to put flags all over bi-polar dimensions, talk about China and India as if they were homogenous monocultures and peddle sophisticated stereotype as if it where going to help a remote team or diverse group dealing with the stresses and strains of an urgent and important project.

Let us take some responsibility upon ourselves to keep up with the modern world.

  1. Your Authentic Story

Your delegate’s exposure to Social Media and Netflix box sets has whetted their appetite for compelling narrative (and it better be as real as possible.)

Converting your personal experience into useful stories that carry a transferrable wisdom is a great way to engage your audience, build rapport with the group and get them on your side.

Dig to find a relevant story and share it at the right moment. Not too long and told from a humble or witty perspective. Keep the story light, though the meaning may be deeper.

So, with these 4 tools, we can avoid the alpha challenge that signals the end of learning for the day and the start of an awkward defence of your training style and content.

Go save a life – Yours.

Good luck with your next group session…

Matthew Hill is an Intercultural trainer, coach and author.

Contact him at hillmatthew100@mac.com

 

Leading Across Cultures in Practice – by Fernando Lanzer Book Review

How resolving our differences shapes our culture

This book represents an overview of the differences between national cultures, and how those differences influence people’s behaviour in business, management, and, in work situations in general. The book manages to develop beyond simple work etiquette and a list of “do’s and don’ts.” Rather, it looks at the underlying values that determine how managers deal with their direct reports, how people communicate at work, what is considered a priority and what tends to be put on the back burner according to each country culture. All of this is communicated in an easy style that is not too academic or technical.

Lanzer Book Cover

Lanzer starts with a panoramic description of the basic concepts describing culture and how interest in the topic has grown due to globalization. He focuses on five of Hofstede’s dimensions and explains why he stops there and leaves out the others.

The book contains a valuable resource for trainers and intercultural enthusiasts – 150 pages describing real-life practical examples gathered from six countries that represent different types of cultures: the US and UK (Anglo Saxon cultures), Germany (Germanic cultures), the Netherlands (Dutch-Scandinavian cultures), China (Asian cultures) and Brazil (African and Latin American cultures).

These sections contain relevant stories that are directly transferable, though they could be better balanced: the section on the United States is more extensive than the part covering the UK for example.

No book is perfect and another book on dimensions and essentialism is not on the top of anyone’s list for urgent reading. And this book does not present new research, new data, or anything moving beyond culture value dimensions as an approach to understanding culture.

Near the end of the book, the author addresses some of the critical issues often raised in discussions with workshop participants: the relationship between culture values and religion and the dilemmas that each culture seeks to resolve. Lanzer has some slick and functional answers and concludes that these dilemmas are universal: what differentiates one culture from another is the way they find to resolve their main, contrasting issues.

Who should read this book?

The book will be of special interest to those getting acquainted with the topic of culture and diversity, and who seek a plain speaking and clear approach to the culture dimensions model as introduced by Professor Geert Hofstede.

Amazon link to buy the book;

https://www.amazon.com/Leading-Across-Cultures-Practice-Fernando/dp/1977620574/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1509106338&sr=8-1&keywords=Leading+Across+Cultures+in+Practice

About the Author

Author Lanzer

Fernando Lanzer Pereira de Souza is a Dutch Brazilian psychologist and consultant who worked in AMRO Banco Real in HR & L&D in Brazil.

He founded the leadership and OD consulting firm LCO Partners 10 years ago with his wife Jussara who is also a psychologist and consultant.

He travels the world servicing his clients and visiting his four daughters who live on different Continents. Fernando is a former member and Chair of AIESEC International’s Supervisory Group. He now sits on the Board of Trustees of ISA – the International School of Amsterdam.

Are You Just Too Busy? And is it Good Busy or Bad Busy?

When would NOW be a good time to start your personal Trainer / Coach / Academic / Student – Time / Work Quality revolution?

  1. The Good Busy test. How much of the following (honestly) applies to you?

“I am Good Busy. My schedule is packed with exciting trips and assignments taking place in desirable locations, working with and for kind, progressive and generous clients who seem to understand me, appreciate me and, specifically, understand my worth to them.

Effective Time Management

They provide a stimulating brief that I am excited to get my teeth into. The work has plenty of variety, suits my strengths and allows me to be fully expressed, in the zone and at my best as I execute the work that I love.”

Have we described your life perfectly? Or, the one that you wish to have in 2018?

  1. The Bad Busy test. When I am not filling in or scanning endless administrative forms, I seem to be trapped in other unpaid, repetitive and unrewarding chores. Either that or I feel duty bound to travel and fulfil my Mephistophelean contract of vast acres of underpaid, boiler plate assignments in grubby locations with cheap accommodation for an unappreciative audience that would far rather be anywhere else than there. My clients are Monolith factory sweatshops that deploy above average people to perform stressful, complicated and disjointed work for little result beyond task completion, urgency and the avoidance of an escalation that sparks the harsh tongue of a similarly stressed supervisor hovering above them, micromanaging the process.

Both 1. & 2. are, of course, an exaggeration. The point of showing you the above two paragraphs is to get you to feel something and recognise elements of WHAT YOU WANT and what you are stuck with and wish to ESCAPE.

The Symptoms –

*Does your heart race or sink when a new work order comes in?

*Do you ever feel ill or experience a mild panic attack on the way to work?

*Do you feel low on Sunday and drink too much on a Friday evening alongside your equally disenchanted colleagues?

*Has your description of what you do become more cynical when are asked about it socially?

What needs to change in 2018?

  1. Audit. I am often asked what is the key to happiness when in the middle of the upheaval of changing country and one thing I learnt years ago is that externally enforced relocation, reassignment or revolution is the perfect time to take stock of your situation and ask some profound questions of yourself…

*Who were you when you set out in the world of work?

*Are you still that person?

*What do you want your day job to be in 5 year’s time?

*What do you want your legacy / eulogy to be?

*What do you enjoy most in your work?

*What activity fills you with dread?

*Are you healthy / happy / fulfilled?

*Are you EARNING what you are worth?

*Is the output of your work good, neutral or evil?

And

*Are you giving out something via your job that is adding value to the broader human experience?

What can you Do?

  • Say “No!” – The breakthrough moment came for me working as a freelance trainer and coach many years ago when I started saying no to discounted work, unfulfilling assignments, crappy locations, unprepared clients and work that was meaningless, harmful or just a tick box exercise for a corporate customer.

    Better fees

    “No!”

Instantly my life improved. I felt rebellious, free and more in control of my content, my audience and my outcomes. My income went up, my spare time went up, my boredom, stress and frustration levels went down.

My question became, “Why didn’t I do this earlier?”

Upgrade Everything – If you increase the quality of every little thing you work on and create something whole that is exceptional, people will notice, your brand will become REMARKABLE and your place in the world will change.

+How can you turbo charge your product?

+What will take your service levels to a place that commands a premium price?

+How can you find the courage to ask for an OUTRAGEOUS fee and keep a straight face?

+How can you create a niche that you will own, dominate and FILL with value?

+How can you spend your time being Fully Expressed, utilising your value and being totally connected to your client, their objectives and your transformational talents?

Excited woman working at desk in office. Using antistress ball.

Conclusion – You get the life you tolerate, so maybe it is time to take action and raise your standards.

Action

If you have been affected by this blog post and want to start your year with a bang – Do feel free to drop me a line and we can have a 5-minute conversation. I would like to hear your story.

Matthew Hill culture trainer 07540659995

Call Matthew

Thanks and “bon chance” for 2018.

 

Independent Trainers – To Do List in 2017 for Success in 2018 – For Greater Revenue Growth

**16 Must Do Action for more days, higher fees and better clients

Recently, I compared notes with a returning Independent Trainer coming back to the UK and we talked about what you need to do to get back into circulation, get meaningful engagement with L&D decision makers and to generate more days, charge higher fees and make more money.

Here is a list of 16 essentials that will make up your 2017 To Do List! – Deadline – Christmas Morning!!

CTA Call to Action

To Do List 2017 for an amazing 2018

  1. Quality Photo Portrait – No, the cropped photo of you at a wedding with shoulders and handbags all around you is not going to get you to your £2,500 daily training rate. – Take the time to find an amazing photographer who is going to produce a professional picture of you that will build and support your premium brand.My beautiful smile
  2. Business Name – And don’t panic – if you have registered something awful, you can re-brand using your blog or website as something more sexy, catchy and searchable – remember – your company name is unlikely to attract any new enquiries via a Google search if it is all about you, as this will not be about your service or fit the customer’s search request.

Take the time to brainstorm over many pages and take an hour or two to do this and come up with 100+ ideas that could work. Don’t edit as you go – just vomit ink on the page!

Now pick the best combination of your words, make sure the final result is not taken in your own country and quickly secure the domain name for yourself. Job done.

  1. Business Card – Go up market, don’t put a fax number on it – It is not 1995. You do not need your postal address either. This is 2017.

And what about a strap line – Who do you help? What is THEIR outcome? Be creative.

  1. Deal Sheet – Who have you worked with? And what have you done with them? Some corporate customers will give you permission to use their name and even provide testimonials, endorsements and references that can really help you, so go for it. Some will not. And some are rather precious about their brand, so do be careful and NEVER break copyright laws – They are a venue generator for ambulance chasing lawyers. You can avoid trouble by putting all of their logos on a PowerPoint page, printing it out and taking it to meetings. When you flash this rich and colourful page in front of a decision maker, they will be impressed by the variety and depth of your contacts and will trust you more as a result.
  2. Professional Profile – Why not slip a bit of sales cleverness in here. Give yourself a strap line – “Regarded as the best X in country Y”, or put a verb in play – “Matthew helps Independent Trainers to maximise their revenues by providing Z.” Add a little about your core offering, prizes won, books published, key differentiators and a major customer name or two to really make this document work for you.
  3. Posts – I still encounter people who have yet to publish articles on social media. This is a big missed opportunity for them – A social media post is a flashing beacon of light illuminating your existence in the darkness of competition, short decision maker attention spans and shiny object distractions.

To start, simply think of the decision makers in your field and where their pain lies. What problem do they want you to solve? What do they want you to deliver? How do they want you to deliver it? These are the posts that you must be thinking about, drafting, improving. And then get it edited by someone good. And…put them out to LinkedIn groups, Facebook groups and on your website / blog site as well.

And,

6a.Tag, tag, tag & tag – That is the magic way for your posts to live on forever and continue to do the marketing for you, even when you are sleeping.

Vector speedometer scale

Turbo Tag Your Posts

  1. Logo – It does not cost a fortune to get a cracking logo that will be visually appealing, high in impact and help key contacts to like you and remember you. Take some time to brief the agency on your requirement. What is your persona? What is your delivery style? What do you represent? What is your promise? Who are you target market – your avatar? And, what is UNIQUE about you?
  2. Course Outlines – In olden times, when dinosaurs roamed the earth, it was OK to put out the most boring copy imaginable and get away with it. Surprise surprise.

Things have changed.

Now we need a punchy title employing corporate world language and the benefits to be gained by attending delegates. The content should be in short blocks with a subtitle, exercises and the educational outcome for the participants clearly stated. In modern times, this outline is selling you. Let your outline super-copy do some of the heavy lifting in convincing your prospect to pick up the phone and bring you in for a cosy briefing chat.

  1. Exercises – Theory is so last millennium. The current trend is towards dynamic action based learning with full delegate inclusion – sweat, board markers and tears.

Include plenty of decision making, discussion, physical movement and innovation in your bag of tricks. If your training does not wow the crowd, you will be a one time, one hit, “I wonder what happened there?” trainer.

  1. Model – You have got to have a model. I have the Matthew 5 M’s for Accelerated Business Growth Model, and the Consultative Selling 13 Pillars. They give credibility, a framework for delegates to help them implement your brilliant ideas and a differentiator to set you apart from all the other trainers and coaches knocking on the decision maker’s door.

    A Model Will Generate Cash

  2. Blog Site / Website – I see so many people proudly unveil their expensive semi – animated websites as they confidently assume that a brochure site will heat up the phone and pay their rent next year. It will NOT. Isolated websites can no longer compete with blog sites where the SEO is instant and connected. You need a WordPress blog site to take off and get customers, along with a stream of high quality, original material in the form of blog posts and other products (more in a moment) that are tagged, tagged & tagged to bring you new traffic that is pre-qualified and ready to be warmed by your words of wisdom.
  3. Repurposing your content – PRODUCTS – This is the single most neglected area for Independent Trainers wishing to grab more days next year. They are missing the better fees, the hungry corporate customers and important opportunities for expansion.

I mean, how hard is it to read your best post into your smart phone to create a podcast? Today, there is no excuse – I started Podcasting in 2007 and it was a major technological challenge to get them rendered and uploaded on to the decent podcast sites. And, sometimes, it cost money to do so as well!!!

  1. Make a FILM – If you have got a nosebleed just thinking about recording the sound of your own voice, then you will probably pass out at my next suggestion…

When you add Camtasia (PC) or Screenflow (Mac) to your computer, you can record over your PowerPoint slide deck to create an MP4 film – This is the future. Films are it. Films are what people want – You can add them to your training. You can add them to your marketing and you can add them to your social media to really bring up your marketing game to a competitive level.

  1. Show Reel – When you have made enough films and have purchased your Hey Mic to record your live speeches, you can then paste together the best of your output to make an outstanding and memorable training show reel to wow all that see it. You can send this to corporations, agencies and speaker agencies as well. You will officially be playing in the big leagues.
  2. Key Note Speech – If you seriously want to move your fee levels up from discounted subcontractor rates to the main professional independent tier, then you need to turn your training experience, your life experience, your persona and your model into a Key Note Speech.

    A Key Note will get them Storming The Stage…

This will be something persuasive, charismatic, fact filled and moving. And, it will set you apart from the also trained, the theory pedlars and the chaff.

Use minimal visuals – stunning pictures work well, a bit of punchy music and, “Meet the audience where they are” with your content, technical detail and pitch level.

And,

Record all your speeches for feedback and improvement purposes as well as to bulk out your show reel.

  1. Webinars – What do you get when you put your films, keynote speeches, products, models and charisma into a live show? A mind blowing webinar that acts as an unbeatable demonstration vehicle for all those people who are a little too far away to meet and warm up with a lunch.

Think of this as 3 months marketing achieved in 60 minutes.

Essential for your webinar is to get interaction, to have real decision makers at the other end and to put your best work into producing something lively, interactive and value packed.

That’s it – Your Things To Do list for the rest of 2017 – And the incentive? If you get started, keep going with persistence and focus, you will enjoy more training days, with better paying clients, more interesting delegates and you will end the year with a smile on your face, a pot full of cash and a fist full of great testimonials saying that you are an AMAZING Independent Trainer.

Need help to get started? How far down the list did you get when you switched from, “Done that!” to “Oh, I’d better do that”?

If you need some help, support or advice please do feel free to E Mail Matthew at; matthew.hill@hillnetworks.com

Wishing You – May every training day you deliver in 2018 leave you happy, richer and more fulfilled through delivering great wisdom with great value to a fully appreciative audience who then clamour to have you back again.

And. All the best with your To Do List in 2017.

 

About the Author – Matthew Hill provides coaching and courses for Independent Trainers wishing to build their brand and IP, up their marketing game, deliver effective independent content and enter the big leagues when it comes to compensation and client acquisition. He has worked in 30 countries and worked with people representing 80 nationalities. This year he wrote his 4th book – Going for Growth in 2017.

 

ELC Teaching Trust Building

New ICE train-the-trainer courses Coming UpIntercultural Competence Training:

Using Both Classroom Techniques and Blended Learning

FRANKFURT / MAIN Saturday 20th / Sunday  21st January 2018

 

Teaching trust-building is important when it comes to preparing professionals and students for intercultural encounters of all kinds. Our focus in doing so lies on first/second/third encounters, since often it is during the initial phase of relationships that trust-building succeeds or fails.

The topics we address in our intercultural training principally focus on ‘difficult’ FUNCTIONS which, in intercultural environments, may prevent a trustful relationship from developing. Typical examples are criticizing, refusing, giving advice, giving/accepting compliments etc. which follow different ’cultural scripts’ and, thus, have been a frequent source of culture-based misunderstanding.

Other DISCOURSE FEATURES addressed in the course are Directness, Enthusiasm, Formality, Assertiveness, Self-promotion, Personal   disclosure etc. which may contribute to mutual trust-building, or the opposite.

Critical issues connected with GENDER, HIERARCHY and CONFLICT are also addressed. Although highly sensitive subjects in any context, they bear particular risks when culture-based values, roles and identities clash.

Case studies are used to demonstrate the importance of appropriate communication both at PERSONAL and ORGANISATIONAL levels. Well-researched examples are e.g. the DaimlerChrysler take-over, the BMW-Rover merger, the LA Riots of 1992 and others. More recent examples include the AirFrance-KLM culture clash, or, as an example of successful intercultural corporate co-operation, the Renault-Nissan collaboration.

The ICE Blended Learning course includes exercises, role plays and case studies to practise a variety of communication strategies both in BRITISH-AMERICAN and in INTERNATIONAL ENGLISH which may help to establish trustful relationships in a great variety of international situations.

Contact ELC; info@elc-consult.com

 

 

 

Yvonne Van de Pol – Train the trainer workshop: Mind, Brain and Culture

New Paradigms in Intercultural Understanding Burg Reichenstein, Germany,

22-24th February 2018

New research in cognitive neuroscience is revolutionizing our understanding of culture and mind. This creates challenges and opportunities for intercultural trainers and educators as paradigms are shifting. This workshop will introduce new research in culture and cognition that can inform intercultural training and education. It will reexamine basic concepts from this new perspective, including: definitions of culture, cultural difference, bias, language and culture, culture and identity. We will examine how these new conceptualizations are currently being applied in specific training contexts, and in the current climate of increased intercultural tension.

This train the trainer workshop is a co-creation of Joseph Shaules, Matthieu Köllig and Yvonne Van de Pol

For the Flyer click here; http://www.luzazultrainingen.nl/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/T4T_Mind_Brain_Culture_Flyer_Feb2018.pdf 

Yvonne Van de Pol Yvonne Van de Pol

 

Gary Thomas – Intercultural Business Trainer/Moderator (IBT/M)® Programme

Billed as “Europe’s most popular, most demanding and most comprehensive intercultural Train The Trainer Programme”

The Next block begins on 13th October 2017 in Freising near Munich.

For more details go to; http://www.international-hr.de/en/intercultural-train-the-trainer-programme.html 

Gary ThomasTrainer, Coach and Speaker – Gary Thomas